Sonoma County is famous across the globe as a wine destination. Boasting some of the Bay Area’s, the country’s and the world’s finest food and drink, the region plays host to historic vineyards, jaw-dropping views, farm-to-table restaurants, and even a few castle estates.
Today, we’re covering all four categories and showing off some of the county’s most impressive wineries. From a tasting room that was once a 1920s summer home to a towering French Normandy structure built in the 1990s, these are the wineries you need to visit if views, architecture and jaw-dropping design are on your itinerary. Enjoy!
9711 W Dry Creek Rd | Facebook
Bella is a small, family-run winery that produces handcrafted lots of Zinfandel. Their winery is located on Lily Hill Estate, the old vine vineyard where Italian immigrant Adamo Micheli and his young son, Angelo, planted the first vines in 1915. Tasting experiences are available inside the underground cave every day, but other options include private tastings deeper within the caves and terrace tastings overlooking Dry Creek Valley. For more information on tasting, tour and dining experiences, click here.
8555 Sonoma Hwy | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Château St. Jean
Château St. Jean was founded in 1973 with the goal of providing Sonoma County a true fine wine estate in the European style. The setting provides incredible vineyard views, a dramatic mountain backdrop, lush gardens and, of course, the elegant chateau. Originally built as a summer home in the 1920s, the two-story, 3550-square-foot building has been fully restored, listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is open to the public.
For information on daily tastings and experiences, click here. The lineup includes welcome tastings, food pairings and a wine country escape room!
1791 Olivet Rd | Facebook
DeLoach is a pioneering producer and winegrower of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. In addition to producing award-winning wines, the team is an advocate for and active participant in self-sustaining and biodynamic practices that foster a clean environment and healthy soil. Today, the 17-acre estate vineyard is even more beautiful for its earth-friendly innovations — and its iconic vineyard setting doesn’t hurt either. You can find information tour and tastings here.
8761 Dry Creek Rd | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery
Before Don and Rhonda Carano opened Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, they operated one of Reno, Nevada’s premier fine dining restaurants. While searching for the perfect wines for their wine list in 1979, they stumbled upon the beauty of Northern Sonoma County and purchased a 60-acre parcel in Alexander Valley. After taking classes and discovering a passion for winemaking, the first wines bearing the Ferrari-Carano label were released in 1987. Today, the winery has 19 estate vineyards in four appellations and two separate winemaking locations: one for red and one for white. The Villa Fiore Wine Shop & Tasting Room is located at the Estate Winery, was built in 1981, and is the producer of all the wineries white wines. And that’s where you’ll find five spectacular acres of gardens boasting fountains, arches, sculptures and more than 10,000 tulips every spring.
5110 CA-128 | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Foley Sonoma
Previously Stryker Sonoma, the setting that Foley Sonoma calls home has been a Sonoma County destination for decades. The vineyards and the estate are nestled on a gentle knoll in the Alexander Valley shadowed by the Mayacamas Mountains, but the landscape isn’t the only reason Foley has become known as one of the most beautiful wineries in the region. The building was designed by Nielsen Schuh Architects to be both sensitive to the environment and in harmony with the landscape. So, after you’ve caught your breath following the outdoor view, get ready for an entirely new breathtakingly contemporary interior.
300 Via Archimedes | Facebook
This winery is as famous in name as it is in its setting. Besides being founded by and named after director, producer, screenwriter and film composer Francis Ford Coppola himself, the facility offers sights inside that are as impressive as the outdoor grounds. When you visit, you can enjoy wine tastings that also explore five decades of filmmaking history, overnight stays in the on-site Cabines and a dip in one of two swimming pools which total 3,600 square feet, ticketed winery events, bocce ball courts available to use free of charge, world-class dining and even more.
23555 Arnold Dr | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
Begun back in the early 80s, Gloria Ferrer is credited with being the first sparkling wine house in Carneros Sonoma Valley, the first winery to plant Champagne clones and the first to plant in Carneros. Today, their grounds boast 335 acres of estate vineyards which produce some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the world. The tasting room is rustic on the outside, beautifully contemporary throughout the inside and is nestled in some of Sonoma’s most lush landscape.
HANNA Winery | Healdsburg + Santa Rosa
9280 CA-128 + 5353 Occidental Rd | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Kim Carroll via HANNA Winery
Founded in 1985 by Dr. Elias Hanna, HANNA Winery began with just 12 acres in the Russian River Valley. Today, Elias’ daughter, Christine Hanna, and her team operate two tasting rooms and three vineyards with a total of 600 acres and 230 planted to vines. Home Ranch Vineyards in the Russian River Valley is where you’ll find the flagship vineyard with 25 acres of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and an atmosphere reminiscent of a countryside farmhouse. At the newer Alexander Valley Tasting Room, you’ll find a luxurious, Tuscan-style building surrounded by outdoor patio seating, a bocce ball court and 88 acres of vineyard landscape.
9786 Ross Station Rd | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Iron Horse Vineyards
Iron Horse Vineyards takes its name from the railroad stop which crossed the property in the 1890s. Later, in 1970, Rodney Strong planted the original 55 acres of Chardonnay and 55 acres of Pinot Noir to reinvent the location as a vineyard. And in 1976, Audrey and Barry Sterling drove by the property while it was pouring rain, purchased it two weeks later, and began producing what are now nationally-acclaimed wines. It takes just one visit to understand why Audrey and Barry fell in love with this spot. Just 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the winery offers a view that stretches across Sonoma County to Mount St. Helena and 160 acres in vine to admire from the tasting room.
1474 Alexander Valley Rd | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Now one of the top Cabernet Sauvignon brands in California, Jordan Vineyard & Winery began in 1972 as a tribute to the great wine estates of France and an homage to the timeless connection between food, wine and hospitality. The Jordan Winery Chateau overlooks nearly 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards — more than three-quarters of which have been preserved as natural habitat. The chateau itself is a 58,000-square-foot French-inspired building that houses 12 towering 6,000-gallon oak casks which can be seen from the dining room. To see them for yourself, check out the tours and tastings information here.
4085 W Dry Creek Rd | Facebook
Nestled amongst redwood forested hills and rolling vineyards, the land that plays host to Lambert Bridge was settled over a century ago by the C.L. Lambert Family, turned into a vineyard by Jerry Lambert (of no relation to the family) six decades later, and purchased by the Chambers Family in 1993. Ray and Patti Chambers fell in love with the winery thanks, in large part, to the setting — and it’s easy to see why. The building itself boasts an iconic countryside charm, a gorgeous Redwood Barrel Room, and surrounding gardens complete with intimate picnic settings and lush views.
7335 CA-12 | Facebook
Photo courtesy of Ledson Winery & Vineyards
One of Wine Country’s most stunning castles, Ledson Winery was originally planned as a family home. But, when the Ledson family was building in 1989, they found a public that was clamoring to see the beautiful turrets, slate roofs, balconies and fountains. So, before the home was finished the family changed their plans, turning their family home and the surrounding vineyard into a winery and tasting room. And though the history of the Ledson family goes back as far as 1896, it’s this 16,000-square-foot French Normandy structure that makes Ledson one of Sonoma County’s most beautiful and impressive destinations.
Do you love Sonoma County wine as much as we do?
Tell us about your favorite wineries, castles and views in the comments below!